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Parent Rights

by webmaster last modified 2004-10-03 10:43 AM

This page provides information on your rights as a parent, primarily with respect to schools

Parent Rights with Respect to Schools

Parents of children in private schools should read this to better understand what rights they and their children have.

Parents of children in public schools are guaranteed many more rights by law:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides parents (as well as students of colleges and universities) with important rights regarding student records.

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) provides parents with rights regarding surveys conducted by schools.

The Student Advocacy Center of Michigan has prepared several sample letters for parents covering such issues as FERPA, Special Education and the Freedom of Information Act.

Many schools mistakenly believe they have the authority to regulate or punish the off-campus behavior of their students. One area where this has become particularly widespread is that of home computer use by students--if an e-mail message is brought to school or a home web site is accessed from the school, administrators generally hold the child who created it accountable and punish according to in-school standards, regardless of who brought the message to school or who accessed the web site. This is incorrect--off-campus behavior of students falls within the jurisdiction of the school only if it creates a "substantial disruption" of school activities--for more on this, read our page on student off-campus computer use.

Read our page on student rights for a better understanding of your child's rights in school.

As a parent, you need to know how best to react when you believe your child's school has not handled a disciplinary issue properly. The ACLU of Washington has published this useful Parent's Guide to School Discipline.

The Texas Justice Foundation has prepared this Notice and Declaration of Parental Rights to allow Texas parents to clearly communicate their parental rights and choices to their child's school.

For a flavor of the types of rights issues facing schools today, check out these local issues in Hollis and Brookline, NH.

Parent Rights in General

Here's a web page that addresses parental rights, including some we haven't covered above.

The Open Directory Project page on parent rights provides an extensive listing of sites dealing with all aspects of parent rights, including divorce/custody issues, etc.

For reference purposes, laws covering children can be found here.

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